Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nap Time Debate: Snack Time vs. Meal Time

Ever since I was a little girl all I loved was cereal and macaroni and cheese made from the box. I didn't like a whole lot of meat and couldn't eat at the dinner table during Thanksgiving dinner because I could not see the actual turkey. It was me or the turkey so the turkey was always out of sight. As I've gotten older I enjoy a lot more food and seem to make more time to eat it.

I've always snacked throughout the day but started it off with a big breakfast as soon as my eyes would open. I would eat very little at a time but a lot throughout the day. My girls are the same. Mostly Lorelei. She seems to eat like a bird. A bit here and a bit there is all she can manage.

Plus I'm a snacker so it's hard to change my ways and not hand out snacks throughout the day. I don't think I could tell my girls no to food either. By food I mean something healthy. If my girls want blueberries or apples I will gladly give them another. I used to be that way with milk as well. That is until it seemed like that was all Lorelei was consuming. Now she loves what she calls hot cocoa, but it's just white milk with Hershey syrup. This is gross I think, but the days I have coffee in the morning I let her indulge with a little chocolate milk.

I think I've gained a bit of weight mostly because I have started eating bigger meals with my family now that I am a mother. I have always snacked so it is a hard habit to break. Not always a bad snack, but a snack none the less. Now when dinner gets made and I have spent more time than I could really spare my daughter doesn't want to sit down to eat the dinner I've made. It drives me crazy. I've tried to give less snacks but when you're hungry you're hungry.

Hannah on the other hand will eat just about anything until you run out. She loves to eat and she does snack all day and eats a good meal when it's served. Now when I'm talking about snacks I don't necessarily mean cookies and ice cream. I mean blueberries, dried cherries, grapes, apples, crackers, pretzels, dried cranberries, peaches, celery with peanut butter and raisin bread. Yes the occasional baked cookie or Popsicle finds its way into the mix, but the girls aren't filling up on junk food. I try my best not to put it in the house. Not only because the girls gravitate towards it, but I do to.

Here's the thing; I get irritated after making a good and healthy meal while my three year old wont even look at it, but I still keep handing out these snacks. I have read in the past that eating slower and giving yourself breaks in between meals helps digestion and metabolism. So I'd like to think my choice is a good choice.

Here is a messy Lorelei eating her peanut butter celery
with a peanut butter and banana toasted sandwich.

Click here for the governments recommended daily food intake. Click here for the USDA's website for their dietary guidance and here for Kids Health.

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